ATI's drivers and multiple monitors

Discussion in '3D Hardware, Software & Output Devices' started by Lezmaka, Apr 30, 2004.

  1. Lezmaka

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    I've owned 2 video cards over the past 4 years, a GF2 and a GF4 Ti4200. And I've gotten really really used to nview and the multi-monitor features. I'll probably be wanting to upgrade sometime soon (which for me means within the next year, lol) and I'm curious about ATI's drivers and multiple monitors. Since I really like nview, would I miss it? Also, I've looked around for reviews/comparisons of the 2d part of each companies drivers, but it seems no one has done one recently.

    Just curious
     
  2. ultraright

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    ATI's software solution for multiple monitor management is Hydravision. I've found it lacking in comparison to nView, but it gets the job done. Actually, for my desktop management needs, I've been using Ultramon, which is head and shoulders above either nView or Hydravision.
     
  3. Nappe1

    Nappe1 lp0 On Fire!
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    well, that depends which modes you have been using? streched desktop or exteded desktop? ATI still does not support stretched desktop like Matrox and nVidia. Also, at least on R300, 2nd head lacks overlay and drivers can't automatically emulate it. (means black video window if you just drag it to another screen.) ATi does have theather mode, but you must be in clone mode able to use it, which really isn't very practical.

    I haven't lately played any OpenGL games, so can't say how OGL drivers work with extended desktop, but last time I tried, there seem to be a sort of leak in drivers because windows pipeline screen saver on both heads started fine, but slowed down all the time until around 20 mins after start, it stopped running. (or then the displays weren't anymore just drawed at all.) In any case, it was a progress back then because in early OGL drivers, screen savers just crashed the XP and Half Life kindly informed that, there wasn't OGL Hardware accelerator available at all, if I had 2 monitors active.


    and oh yes... I didn't find anything useful in Hydravision so I basically replaced it almost immediately with UltraMon, which is almost must if you want to get some real use of ATI's Multimonitor feature.
     
  4. kipper67

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    I run a dual monitor set up on my 9800 pro and haven't had any real problems.

    The only thing that has recent caused me to have to turn off the 2nd display was the first single player TOCA race driver 2 demo , the problem had been fixed by the time they released the multiplayer demo though.

    I've played through various OGL games in the last year or two (had a 9700 before) and titles like COD and MOHAA have been fine with dual screens.

    Things got a lot better when the Ati drivers stopped re-initializing directX everytime you went into the CP , I run a couple of webcam windows on the 2nd monitor which would get "reset" everytime i went into display settings but as I say they have now sorted that out .

    I also have no problems viewing videos on the second screen - like Nappei1 says though I can't span it across both monitors but i certainly don't get just a black screen with avi's , divX or DVD on the 2nd screen.

    Personally I use ultramon as well, in preference to hydravision - ultramon gives me a task bar on each monitor with the ability to just show the programs on that screen and also allows me to control the wallpaper in a way hydravision doesn't.

    As I said in about 18 months the only real problems i've had have been very minor - there was also the driver set where AA/AF settings on the primary monitor wouldn't stick unless you disabled the 2ndary but again that was sorted out in the next release - but obviously your requirements may be different to mine.

    Mark
     
  5. Lezmaka

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    The mode I'm using is named Dualview, which I assume is basically extended. What I like the most might be considered video mirror. Say, Windows Media Player/dvd player/etc is open on monitor 1 and is playing a DVD/DivX/etc, and on monitor 2, it is automatically full screen. It looks like anytime an overlay is used, it gets shown full screen on the other monitor. It just makes things much easier, I can just start playing the clip and I don't have to worry about moving it to the other monitor and activating full screen mode.

    If anyone can actually understand what I'm trying to explain above, does ATI's drivers have something similar, or if not, is it something that can be done with ultramon?
     
  6. Nappe1

    Nappe1 lp0 On Fire!
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    on ATI drivers it's called Theather mode. And as said, it works only in clone mode.

    to clarify things:
    - extended mode = two desktops, one with start bar and another one without.
    - Streched mode = one desktop spanning across the both screens. (start bar visible in both monitors.)
    - clone mode = both monitors showing same image.
    - Theather mode = video window in first monitor is shown in second monitor in fullscreen. available only in clone mode.
     
  7. see colon

    see colon All Ham & No Potatos
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    this is not true. i have a r9700 and can drag most players to the second monitor whenever i want. i say most players because some (older versions of windows media player, older and sometimes newer ati mmc players, and a few 3rd party players) don't properly support this. even my r200 supported overlay on the second monitor. i can even play video on both monitors (one player per monitor) at the same time.

    ati has "thearter mode", which can be configured to do the same thing, but it has some strange limitations. namely, you need to have cloned desktop enabled for it to work like it does on the nVidia solution. that basicly removes the usefullness of having dual monitors enabled. also, minimising some media players will cause the full screen video (on monitor2) to also be minimised. ati has come a long way with thier drivers, but thier multimonitor and, to be more general, 2d quality is quite behind nVidia.
    c:

    -edit- nappe1, you beat me by one minute. that'll teach me to proofread! lol. just wanted to add, "stretched" desktop is sometimes refered to as "spanned". also, ati's thearter mode does work on a second controller as well, so if you have an old pci card kicking around, and wanted to rock 3 monitors (or, if you are using it only for video 2 monitors and a tv)
     
  8. Nappe1

    Nappe1 lp0 On Fire!
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    if I want to rock 3 monitors, I will buy Matrox. :) (in fact, on amounts I nowadays play, I have started more and more think aboput buying Parhelia. Especially now, when the newer revision is a bit cheaper, faster and has most of original's problems fixed. And the fact that most of games I am playing, would support Surround Gaming and seems to run okay on Surround Gaming resolutions...
     
  9. Sanctusx2

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    Surround gaming works on Nvidia cards with horizonal spanning, at least on my 5900xt. I just have to switch into spanned mode then tweak settings as per Matrox's surround gaming section of their website. Most games don't support it, but Matrox has a nice library of how to get certain games working(works for Nvidia cards too!). UT2004 and MS flightsim to name a few. I'd surround game more, but I only have two lcds and one is smaller than the other.

    It's very awkward with two different sized monitors, but kinda fun at the same time since I can see so much more. For example I can stand quite close to a corner, face it directly, and completely see both corridors in their entirety. (No sneaking up on me har). Trying it for one round of UT2004 makes me really want to go buy another 18" LCD, but sadly I can't afford it atm.
     
  10. ShePearl

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    UT2004 supports dual-display ?

    If so, how's performance drop from using dual-diaplays in UT2004 ? (since VPU has to render 4 times more pixels).
     
  11. keegdsb

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    That's not surround gaming, in fact that's just silly. With real surround gaming, you don't have to split your crosshairs between two monitors.

    Btw, I take it that Theater Mode is the DVDMax knockoff, then?
     
  12. Nappe1

    Nappe1 lp0 On Fire!
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    umm why four times more pixels?

    afaik, if you have to render 2Megapixels on two screens, it makes 4 Megapixels instead of 8 megapixels. (of course the amount of rendered pixels aren't exact the same on both screens due differencies on non-visible pixels, but I doubt that doubling the vertical resolution would quadruple the amount of rendered pixels. Otherwise, doubling the resolution on both axes should make eight times more pixels to render, which isn't the case.)
    remember that you only double the vertical resolution, not both.

    as keegdsb said, that's not Surround Gaming. It's DualHead Gaming that even G400 was able to do. (and there was even few games supporting it, Serious Sam for example supported it.)
     
  13. Nappe1

    Nappe1 lp0 On Fire!
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    at least it tries to be. nVidia's Video Mirroring does the same, except a bit better.
     
  14. ShePearl

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    Suppose there are two 17" 1280x1024 native resolution LCD montors for dual display setup. VPU has to render twice more resolution in *vertical*, as well as *horizontal* which makes it 4 time more pixels in total.

    At least, this is how I see it.

    ** Single display setup **
    1280 x 1 = 1280 pixels in horizontal
    1024 x 1 = 1024 pixels in vertical
    Total = 1280 x 1024 = 1310720 pixels.

    ** Dual display setup **
    1280 x 2 = 2560 pixels in horizontal
    1024 x 2 = 2048 pixles in vertical.
    Total = 2560 x 2048 = 5242880 pixels.

    Now tell me how many more pixels there are in dual display setup compared to single display.
    Divide 5242880 by 1310720 gives you 4.
     
  15. Lezmaka

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    Assuming you're running both monitors at the same resolution, the vertical resolution does not increase. It is still 1024 pixels. The horizontal resolution does double, to 2560 pixels. Therefore, the dual display setup would be the same as a single monitor running at 2560x1024.

    Edit: I just changed my setup to span and both of my monitors are running at 1280x1024 and Windows just sees it as one big monitor running at 2560x1024.

    [​IMG]
     
  16. Nappe1

    Nappe1 lp0 On Fire!
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    umh... check your math again mate. I would not be passing you from math test with those calculations. :)

    if you have two screens at 1280x1024, it is same as 2560x1024. (only vertical or horizontal resolution doubles, but not both.) If you double both resolutions, you are doing Quad head gaming! :D


    EDIT: I'll put it this way... if the ratio is 4 as you say, how on earth you can put 4 times of amount of pixels in one panel to 2 TFT panels? so if you have 2,000,000 pixel panel and you take 2 of them, do you think that you can really put 8,000,000 pixels on those? ;)
     
  17. ShePearl

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    You're right. I didn't realize that vertical resolution remained constant!

    So, it's twice more resolution in total. Not four times.
     
  18. Pete

    Pete Moderate Nuisance
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    Which makes sense, as you're using twice as many monitors. Not four times. ;)
     
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